Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Gears Are Inside Me!

A couple weeks ago I posted about finding another gear during a hard swim set. Yesterday was another example of that... toward the end of our main set I was really working and feeling quite tired and wondering how the heck I was going to go even faster for the next 200... and then even faster than that for the last 100? But I managed to pull it off. Somehow. Love those swimming gears! Unfortunately I haven't exactly found those gears while running.

Jen must have read that post, because today I was told to go to the track and do a switching gears workout that included some as hard as you can go 400's in the middle of a continuous 4 miles. So much for waiting until after Ironman training is over to go find my other gears on the run.

So I got about half way through the workout, pleasantly surprised that I was actually hitting the goal times Jen set out for me (I think she thinks I'm a faster runner than I actually am because she's always telling me to run some crazy pace and I'm like, um, what??).

I was starting to feel like a wet noodle and my legs were starting to malfunction (am I going to trip over myself???) and I really thought that I wasn't going to be able to keep this up for 4 more repeats. The pivotal moment in your head during a workout... keep pushing? Or give up and call it a day? But I reminded myself about the gears I have in the pool and tried to switch them over to the track.

"You have the gears in the pool, Michelle... transfer 'em here on the track..." I repeated that over and over to myself during the 5th fast repeat.

And when I got to #6, I thought, "No. It's not that I have gears in the pool. I have gears INSIDE ME. It's time to push yourself, Michelle. You know how to do this."

"The gears are inside me. The gears are inside me..." That became my mantra for the rest of the intervals.

And I did it. I nailed the paces, last one fastest one, feeling like I might just puke. The workout was a major success, not just because I hit the times, but because I learned that I don't actually have access to some secret special gears in the pool. The gears are inside me. I can take them with me wherever I go. I am not limited to only using them in the pool. Now, I can use them at the track! :)

Where are your gears? They are INSIDE YOU.

11 comments:

cat. said...

what a fantastic mantra! on the track i often have to say over and over to myself "put it in your feet, put it in your feet" because during hard efforts i tend to start pulling and pushing from other areas (hello tight shoulders!) that are really of no help. it's so great when you find something like that that works for you!!

Angela and David Kidd said...

Sounds like you had your breakthrough. Great job. I often visualize my legs as pistons when I get tired on the run. I need a similar visual for the swim.

IronMatron said...

Awesome!
So much of the hardest training seems to only work if we somehow get our brains to convince the body that it DOES have other gears. I so need to work on this!!! Great post.

Alicia Parr said...

Way to go!

Clare said...

i need some wd-40 for my gears ASAP. nice post! impressive that the fast repeats are the fastest...i guess that's how it's done in the big leagues, but i've never even considered it!

Regina said...

hmmm, I seem to be stuck in neutral..

Lizzie said...

This couldn't have been a more timely post for me. I just started track workouts two weeks ago (never done them in my life) and my coach was confident I could run 400's at a 6:00 - 6:30 pace - ha! Um, well she was right - what I still can't figure out is how my times were either better or consistent than each previous one when all I felt like doing was just taking a teensy lie down for a sec :) That's awesome that you're finding your running gear - perfect timing for your upcoming race(s)!

Nitsirk said...

Tiger Woods has nothin' on you. You are a mental superwoman. Sometimes getting out of our own way is the hardest part. The body is able to do amazing things if we can just get over the doubt. Congrats. You are going to smoke Kona.

X-Country2 said...

Woo hoo! See, you're faster than you think. :o)

Angela said...

Great post Michelle! I like Clare's comment, maybe I need some wd-40 as well, haha.

Tim keeps telling me it's all mental and I'm slowly learning to believe him. Especially with the running.

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Fabulous - I LOVE it!!! :) :) :) I agree with Angela - sounds like you had your "ah-ha!" breakthrough moment. YEA! Really great post, excellent! Keep it up - you're doing great!!!